3–7 December 2008
1. ICASA Conference Report
2. List of Conferences for 2009–2010
3. List of individuals who could be supported by TrustAfrica
List of participants at the TrustAfrica session
AIDS experts identified at ICASA conference
HIV/AIDS information and search sites
People living with AIDS (support networks)
Database of minority groups
View the report online through the AIDS wiki.
You will find a PDF version of this report in our Publications database under “Workshops and Convenings.”
An important step in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa is to identify the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of African leaders regarding HIV/AIDS. Gaining clarity on these issues can help create opportunities for learning and exchange across Sub-Saharan Africa. The need to step up this identification process emerged as one of the main conclusions at the 15th International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA), held in Dakar, Senegal—a conference partly financed by TrustAfrica.
With ‘Africa’s Response: Face the Facts’ as its theme, the conference sought to sustain the progress that has been achieved in preventing new HIV infections and enabling more individuals to receive antiretroviral treatment, both of which are urgent priorities for African countries facing the AIDS epidemic. It also provided an opportunity to evaluate initiatives and interventions that have been developed to address HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) across the African continent over the past 20 years. Other aims included measuring the strengths and shortcomings of different programs; promoting collaboration among scientists, sectoral leaders, and community practitioners; and sustaining and increasing HIV awareness in Africa.
For the first time in the history of the ICASA conference—the continent’s largest gathering of HIV/AIDS activists and researchers—there was noticeable visibility and an extensive presentation of international lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) issues. This groundbreaking achievement appeared to mark a positive shift in the attitudes of the participants. Sexual minorities were able to submit their concerns to international donors, national organizations dealing with HIV/AIDS, and African governments—three groups that have thus far failed to respond to the challenges of HIV/AIDS among these populations. There was space allocated to TrustAfrica to convene some of these voices—including those of traditionalists, youths, and minorities—in a session that brought together divergent but rich views.
Other dominant themes included the need to upgrade existing HIV prevention programs, engage youth, and pay closer attention to minority groups. A cross-cutting issue that was identified as applying to all areas under discussion was the need for long-term financing.
Prof. Souleymane M’Boup, president of the ICASA 2008 organizing committee, described the conference as an extremely successful event and expressed his appreciation to the participants and organizers. M’Boup concluded by urging them to spread the message that Africa must advance its response to AIDS.